Dating in your 50s and beyond
Dating can be daunting at any age, but if you’re over 50 it can present a whole host of different challenges. But it’s also one of the best times in life to start online dating. Here’s what you need to know about dating in your 50s and beyond
Whether you’re newly single or have been for a while, dating in your 50s can be daunting. In fact, dating at any age can be challenging but, when you’re older it can feel like it’s harder to meet new people. As friends get married, have children, or move away, your pool of available singles shrinks.
But don’t despair; more singles over 50 than ever are giving online dating a try! In fact, one in six over 50s have used an online dating service.
So, if you’re tempted to start dating in your 50s (and beyond!), here are out top tips:
Profit from your experience
Just think about all of the things you know now that you didn’t when you first started dating. Not only are you much better at judging other people, but you also know yourself much better. Maybe a divorce has forced you to stand on your own two feet for the first time in years, or a bereavement has made you realise that life’s too short. Whatever your history, you have light years more experience than you did in your 20s.
First, work out exactly what you want from a new partner. All you need is two sheets of paper and a little time to yourself. Think hard about the ten characteristics your ideal partner would have and the ten deal-breakers that you couldn’t accept. Do they need to have a good sense of humour? Can you cope with someone career obsessed? Asking these questions will help you decide what you really want at this stage in your life. You may find that your new ideal partner is far removed from the one you wanted in your 20s.
This is not the time to be a shrinking violet. The dating landscape can be tough, and you need to take every opportunity you can to meet new people. It’s a cliché, but you really never know when you’re going to meet someone special. Tell people that you’re looking to meet someone. Friends, family and colleagues are great sources of new people. We’re not saying you should walk around wearing a sign saying ‘I’m on the market’, but find a way of dropping the fact you’re dating again into conversation. You’ll soon find people mentioning friends or events that you could be interested in.
Embrace as many opportunities as possible. Often, we pass things up because they seem scary – or a night in on the sofa sounds more tempting! The more you get out and meet new people, the easier dating in your 50s will become. If you’ve not been to a social event alone since before you were married, it’ll be nerve-wracking at first, but the reality will be much easier than you think.
Lastly, create your own opportunities. Staying home alone isn’t going to help you meet new people. Join a book group, learn a new skill, or volunteer. At the very least you’ll have fun!
Fake it ’til you make it. We aren’t all born confident but by pretending you’re the most confident person in the world, genuine confidence will follow. We know, this is easier said than done. Here are few ways to get started:
Make eye contact
If you’re talking to someone and holding eye contact they’ll know you’re listening to them and secure in yourself.
Interact with the person you’re listening to
Really pay attention to what they’re saying and use their cues to talk about yourself.
Store up 10 interesting stories/facts about yourself
Having something interesting to say prepared – even if you don’t use it – will help you worry less about drying up so you’ll be able to relax into the conversation.
And don’t pressure yourself. Rather than seeing each social gathering or date as your last chance to meet someone, try to enjoy the experience. You’ll have some good dates, some great dates and some pretty awful dates. Take them all in your stride.
Try online dating
It should come as no surprise that we’re advocating online dating. But, when you’re dating over 50, going online really is a great way to get back into it. You can review your matches from the security and comfort of your phone and take time to really get to know them before meeting up. Plus, you’re under no obligation to meet anyone or share any personal details.
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